Cornell Behavioral Health Pavilion

Gresham Smith designed the Cornell Behavioral Health Pavilion in Sarasota, Florida with a focus on creating an environment that promotes patient well-being and reduces environmental stressors.

  • area / size 95,000 sqft
  • Completed 2023
  • Type Hospital,
  • The Cornell Behavioral Health Pavilion at Sarasota Memorial Hospital-Sarasota campus in southwest Florida replaces the health system’s older psychiatric hospital across the street. The 82-bed, 95,000-square-foot facility enhances, expands and centralizes inpatient and outpatient care for people affected by mental and behavioral health challenges.

    In addition to intake space and outpatient services, the pavilion includes four inpatient units dedicated to specific patient populations: a 16-bed geriatric unit, a 20-bed acute care unit, a 24-bed adult unit and a 22-bed adolescent unit. Front-of-house and back-of-house circulation emphasizes safety for both patients and staff, and standardized floor plans enhance efficiency. However, while the units are similar in layout, unique colors, finishes and artwork on each floor—which were strategically chosen to reduce environmental stressors—give each space a unique identity.

    To maximize natural light in the facility’s inpatient rooms, the design team increased the ceiling height to allow for larger windows. Additionally, glass partitions around staff and social spaces allow light further into the building while also enhancing sightlines. Promoting dignity and independence, inpatient rooms allow patients who stay overnight to control the temperature and mood lighting in their room, open and close their blinds, and certain patient populations have access to a personal shower. The interior courtyard, which features a garden, patio and gym, as well as upper-level screened-in porches, provide respite and further connect patients to nature.

    Design: Gresham Smith
    Contractor: DeAngelis Diamond
    Photography: Randy Van Duinen